History of Marshlands Tree Garden, by Tom Blundell


This was written by Tom Blundell, who was been a Tree Warden in Frodsham for 30 years, on 10 June 2009.

Marshlands Tree Garden is at the end of Greenfield Lane which runs between the Bear’s Paw and Devonshire Bakery. It is on the site of Frodsham's own gasworks which began operating in 1856.

The gas was produced by heating coal in retorts. A process which gave rise to a lot of messy by-products and originally only the gas had a commercial value. The waste by-products were allowed to flow into the River Mersey via a ditch alongside the cricket field. Towards the end of production in 1937 these by-products were worth more than the gas.

On the site near to Greenfield Lane was “Marshlands” the manager's house - demolished a long time ago. The only visible sign is the privet hedge forming the garden boundary. The garden presumably grew raspberries because there are many raspberry canes over the lower part of the site.

It was in 1996 that Harry Pyle, to whom the site is dedicated, saw the potential of tree planting. The area was surveyed by Harry and I, and a map was produced showing the existing trees, the remaining concrete structures and the proposed location of paths.

He was instrumental in getting the first of the paths installed, and the Frodsham Town Council Tree Group planted many trees including aspen, wellingtonia, horse chestnut, swamp cypress, a number of alder and a wych elm. The larch trees were planted by the Brownies.

A pond was dug at the motorway end and a row of white willow was planted on the resulting mound in January 1999. Last year a further path was built alongside the pond to complete a circular walkway.

Further work is planned to encourage wild life. Logs have been placed in piles for the benefit of fungi, beetles and grubs, these creatures will attract the birds. Robins, blackbirds, wagtails and blue tits have been seen, also a pheasant!



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Frodsham Root Network